January 4, 2018

Courtois: New Chelsea Deal Is Close  (Sky Sports)

Thibaut CourtoisChelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says he is willing to extend his tenure at the club beyond 2019 and that a new deal is "close".

The Belgium goalkeeper's current deal expires in June 2019 and he has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

But Courtois says he is close to agreeing an extension - and added that compatriot Eden Hazard, whose deal expires in 2020, is also keen to remain at Stamford Bridge.

Courtois told the London Evening Standard: "I'm happy at Chelsea and a deal is close.

"Has it been a distraction? Not for me. I'm just calm and relaxed, because I'm tied to Chelsea. Despite the rumours and everything, I am focused on Chelsea and I'm happy here.

"Do Eden and I encourage each other to sign? Yes. He will say 'if you sign, I will sign' and I say the same to him. I think we are both happy at Chelsea, we both have a good part to play.

"We have been champions twice in the four seasons I have been here and can have our peak years together at Chelsea."

Hazard would command a huge fee were he to depart but Courtois does not think the in-form forward should be let go, whatever Chelsea are offered.

"Losing a player like Eden would be bad for us, the club," said the goalkeeper.

"Eden is irreplaceable. With the money he will raise, you can buy five players, but none of them will be like Eden.

"It would be like Barcelona losing Lionel Messi or Real Madrid losing Cristiano Ronaldo. If you excel, there will always be teams interested in signing the biggest players.

"But that's why, if Chelsea have ambition to be the best club in the world, these kind of players have to stay."

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